Wednesday, July 27, 2011
A Growing Mob
A routine can be planted in the celluloid turf as an acorn and grow into a mighty oak. This explains how a simple American Mutoscope & Biograph short named Personal (1904) eventually inspired the grand "bridal run" climax of Buster Keaton's Seven Chances (1925). Footage from Personal is not available, but here's a clip from the Edison remake How a French Nobleman Got a Wife through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904):
In filmmaking, CGI is equivalent to plant growth hormones. Here is how that same routine looks with current technology.
Obviously, the clip also reflects a change in sexual attitudes. Women in bustles look much different than women in bikinis. I should add, though, that the sexual content of this clip is tame when compared to a scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983) in which Graham Chapman is chased off a cliff by a horde of topless models.